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How effectively does George Orwell begin his novel "Nineteen Eighty Four"?

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Introduction

How effectively does George Orwell begin his novel "Nineteen Eighty Four"? Nineteen Eighty Four is George Orwell's nightmare vision of the future. Written in 1948, at the end of World War II, Orwell simply switched numbers for his future view. The opening chapter is very effective in the way that it straight away lets the reader know the style of the novel. The opening is a description of post-war London, and the introduction of the main character. Orwell saw the evil in the war just passed, and wrote about it. The imagery used can all be linked to the war or London. The novel is not personal, with more reference to the party and regimes, Orwell was a political writer, an extreme socialist. He is criticizing any political regime, socialist or fascist. Right from the outset the author intends to draw attention to the setting. ...read more.

Middle

Inside Victory Mansions, where Winston resides, for it cannot be said that he "lives", it is not much better. "The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats." This gives the impression of rotting and deterioration. Everything is rationed; this is a reference to the war. "The present electric current was cut off during daylight hours." Winston uses "blunt razor blades" and "coarse soap." There is no colour described in the opening, the picture of the settings in the reader's mind are black and white, therefore giving a sense of a grey, unhappy world. The people of London are not free. There is an imposing poster everywhere one turned, bearing the caption, "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU." The man in the poster, "the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features" could very well be Hitler or Stalin, another reference to the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

The words are oxymorons, War and Peace, Freedom and Slavery, Ignorance and Strength. The words are ironic when used next to each other. They are each the antithesis of the other. If you take away people's knowledge, you can tamper with their minds, as shown in the last slogan. Once inside Winston's flat, we are introduced to the telescreens, furthering the notion that no one is free. There are helicopters that look into the houses and the telescreens that watch you. There is a description of a "dulled mirror" but mirrors cannot be dull, or the view would be distorted, this is another message from Orwell showing us nothing was clear. We get more description of Winston, still nothing personal, and still anti-heroic, "a smallish, frail figure, the meagerness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the party." We get the impression he is not well. Everything he can see from his window is unpleasant, "the world looked cold," it was "torn" and "harsh. ...read more.

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